June 11th, 2024
Ocean Outdoor and BFI IMAX celebrate 25 years of a London icon

BFI IMAX in Waterloo celebrates 25 years today (11th June) – a milestone anniversary for the international landmark and celebrated global advertising destination.

Ocean was engaged as the sales agent for the BFI IMAX 18 years ago (April 2006) and has been the sole agent to date, retaining the engagement in 2022.

Global brands including Apple, Universal Pictures, Netflix, LMVH, Mercedes, Tiffany, Hugo Boss and HSBC have occupied the famous advertising banner during Ocean’s tenure. The advertising revenue generated goes back to BFI IMAX, which is a cultural charity and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image.

Ocean’s UK CEO Phil Hall said: “BFI IMAX has a significant place in Ocean’s history as our original Ask for it by Name location. 18 years on, it remains one of the single biggest ticket items in the OOH world with occupancy rates achieved by no other asset. We continue to build on this success, securing the reputation of BFI IMAX as a marquee asset in both the physical and digital realms.”

“Working together, we have successfully weathered a period of unprecedented change in the media marketplace, where nearly 70p of every media pound spent on advertising is now digital. Undeterred, we continue to demonstrate the relevance of BFI IMAX in the Out of home landscape through sector leading marketing, pioneering new technology and tremendous creativity.”   

A seat of creative theatre 

BFI IMAX is Europe’s largest OOH canvas, combining 1,734m² of creative space with LED lighting to deliver unique, high impact advertising experiences. The unique structure forms an integral part of the building sitting behind glass.

With its four traffic and pedestrian facing elevations dominating Waterloo, BFI IMAX delivers 3.2m impacts a week (source: ROUTE).

London’s biggest banner gives brands a unique canvas to produce work for wider integrated campaigns, from TV spots to shareable influencer content.

Taking OOH to the max

1999: Completed in May, the IMAX cinema screen transformed the Southbank intersection south of Waterloo Bridge.

April 2006: Ocean was engaged as the agent for BFI IMAX.

2007: BFI IMAX is named the most wanted billboard by The Guardian.

2008: Daniel Craig made the first of five appearances on the banner as 007.

2010: Ocean relaunched the banner as its first Ask for it by Name location.

2012: Bond returned for London 2012, along with a bespoke Olympics installation for Nike that demonstrated the IMAX’s customised LEDs.

2013: Ocean experimented with coloured ambient lighting, turning BFI IMAX blue for Samsung using coloured gel filters, with the LED mesh featuring video for the first time.

2015: The inspiration for another European first – Edison Live, a network of programmable LEDs offering creative flexibility for brands. Using these ambient LEDs, Ocean has since created hundreds of bespoke lighting sequences tailored to each brand, including stage spotlighting for EE, Dell, Costa Coffee and head-lighting for the AA. Edison lighting is now widely used in conjunction with bespoke LED installation, creating a unified, synced lighting sequence.

2022: Ocean retained the agency agreement and reinvented the BFI IMAX banner, introducing a new suite of technical innovations.

2024: To meet sustainability goals, the LEDs were upgraded in March. Alongside the BFI, Ocean invested in a high quality, energy saving operating system to create even better opportunities for brands, while reducing energy usage by 30%.

Ocean Networks

The location is available as part of a network, please see below for details.

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